Managing Food Safety and Hygiene

Managing Food Safety and Hygiene

Governance and Regulation as Risk Management

Bridget M. Hutter

Food safety and hygiene is of critical importance to us all, yet, as periodic food crises in various countries each year show we are all dependent on others in business and public regulation to ensure that the food we consume in the retailing and hospitality sectors is safe. Bridget Hutter considers the understandings of risk and regulation held by those in business and considers the compliance pressures on managers and owners, and how these relate to understandings of risk and uncertainty.

Chapter 7: Conclusions: Why Manage Risk? What Can We Learn and Improve?

Bridget M. Hutter

Subjects: development studies, agricultural economics, economics and finance, agricultural economics, environment, agricultural economics, disasters, law - academic, health law, politics and public policy, public policy, regulation and governance


This research has focused on how business risk management practices may be influenced by various sources of regulation and how these sway an organization’s propensity to take risks. We have identified a number of important pressures for managing risks, some of which are external to the business and some internal to it. We have also examined understandings of risk and risk regulation held by those in the food sector. In Chapter 3 we found broad agreement about the risks the industry faces, with some variations relating to the social location of respondents. It was also clear that knowing what the risks are is important but that understanding them is not always sufficient to ensure compliance with risk regulation. Subsequent chapters indicated some of the factors that might be helpful in setting and maintaining high standards. In Chapters 4 and 5, for example, we found that state regulation, especially at the local level of EHOs, is an important influence on business risk management practices. But equally important are consumers, especially managerial perceptions that consumers differentiate between food businesses according to their perceptions of food safety and food hygiene standards. Chapter 6 identified factors within business organizations which are significant to their risk management, for example, training, company policies and the commitment of senior management to risk management. What does this tell us about why businesses manage risks? Much neo-classical theory is premised on the belief that it was not in the self-interest of business to manage risk, that regulation is an...

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